How To Signal on Somebody Else’s Behalf Legally [2023 Update]

Have you ever ever discovered your self in a state of affairs the place you had been anticipated to signal on another person’s behalf, however weren’t certain if it was authorized or not? It could be in an workplace set-up whenever you had been anticipated to signal for a senior colleague or boss, or in a private state of affairs whenever you had been anticipated to signal for a member of the family or good friend.
For the uninitiated, this may occasionally look unlawful, however do you know that you would be able to
signal on another person’s behalf as as long as you’re authorised to signal for them? 

Though handwritten signatures aren’t used practically as usually as they was once, in situations the place they’re required, authenticity is taken very severely. 

On this article, we shed extra gentle on the suitable technique to signal for another person in addition to share the ins and outs of when this isn’t acceptable. 

Learn alongside. 

When does signing for another person turn out to be unlawful?

Signing a doc as another person with out that individual’s permission falls below this class as a forgery. That is primarily based on having the ‘intention to defraud’ somebody. This is applicable even when you thought you had permission to signal one thing.

Section 253 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) states that falsifying a doc is a criminal offense. Additional, it’s punishable by 10 years imprisonment. There are related provisions within the legal laws of different states. If the opposite individual is unaware that you just’re signing one thing for them and also you’re gaining one thing, then you definately’re committing forgery. It’s vital to at all times have the permission of the individual earlier than you signal on their behalf.

Find out how to legally signal for another person in Australia?

Totally different paperwork are handled with various levels of seriousness when you signal for another person. 

For example, when signing for a parcel from any e-commerce vendor akin to eBay, Iconic or Australia Put up, the seller usually permits you to signal for another person when you inform them that you’ve permission to take action. 

They could ask you to current identification nonetheless to show your id. 

In different circumstances, akin to making use of for a financial institution mortgage or mortgage, the signature must be that of the supposed signee. Extra formal paperwork akin to a contract for the sale of land require an unique signature below the Statute of Frauds. Nonetheless, these could be signed by another person with permission.

In essence, you’ll be able to signal legally utilizing two strategies. 

  1. Utilizing a ‘p.p’
  2. Utilizing a Energy of Legal professional

What’s ‘p.p’ and when ought to I take advantage of it?

In firm paperwork or extra formal correspondence, the prefix ‘p.p’ is written earlier than the signature of the one who is to signal on another person’s behalf. This signifies that the doc is being signed below ‘procurement’, with ‘p.p’ standing for ‘procurationem’. 

Per procurationem is Latin for ‘by way of the company of’, signifying an acknowledgement that one other individual is signing the doc, however that they’re doing so with authorisation. 

Beneath your signature will often be the title and place of the supposed signee. If you’re signing one thing formal with the categorical authority of the supposed signee, put ‘p.p’ earlier than your signature, as it’ll advise the reader that you’re signing on another person’s behalf.


You’re employed for a lawyer who’s presently in Courtroom. They should ship an pressing letter to a solicitor which must be hand-delivered to make sure receipt. The lawyer has requested you to signal for them, above their title and place title on the finish of the letter. You write ‘p.p’ within the signature house and signal your title after it. This validates the letter, in informing the reader the letter has been signed on behalf of the lawyer with authorisation.

Find out how to use a Energy of Legal professional to Signal a Doc 

A Energy of Legal professional is a authorized doc that permits an assigned individual to signal on behalf of an individual who’s incapacitated, medically unfit or deceased. It could additionally come in useful when the unique signee is travelling or has entrusted the POA holder to signal on their behalf. 

In Australia, the Energy of Legal professional can differ from one state to a different and could be held by a member of the family or a delegated lawyer/employees in case of corporations. 

Can Digital Signatures (eSignatures) be used to signal on behalf of somebody? 

Digital signatures (eSignatures) are widespread lately, with many platforms providing eSignature instruments on-line totally free. Whether or not this be by the use of a picture of an individual’s signature, merely typing an individual’s title, or utilizing an eSignature platform, in some ways, eSignatures have eliminated the necessity for somebody to signal on one other’s behalf. 

This has additionally, in flip, gone a great distance in lowering incidences of fraud. Nonetheless, in case you have entry to somebody’s eSignature, you have to nonetheless solely use it the place you’ve gotten that individual’s permission. As long as you’ve gotten the authority given to you in writing, you’ll be capable to exhibit that you just used the eSignature of one other personally and legally.

By no means signal your title to something with out studying it first

When including your signature to one thing, it’s vital to know the authorized significance it carries. That is particularly the case the place you’re signing for another person or when you’re their energy of lawyer. 

It’s because you’re making choices for that individual, and your judgment must replicate what’s in the most effective pursuits of that individual. Even when you’re merely utilizing ‘p.p’ within the absence of the supposed signee, it’s nonetheless smart to know what you’re attaching your title to. 

Ensure you learn the doc in entrance of you, and ask the supposed signee if there’s something that you just’re uncertain about. While signing for another person has turn out to be much less widespread, you would possibly nonetheless must on occasion. So long as you’re signing with the permission of the supposed signee, then it’s authorized to signal for them apart from some paperwork which carry a larger authorized significance (akin to Wills). 

If you’re uncertain whether or not you’ve gotten the authorized proper to signal one thing, examine with the individual you’re signing for or seek the advice of a lawyer.